What Yoga Can Do For Runners

Source : Article Snatch

By : Linda Adams

Yoga is popularly identified with muscle relaxation, slow movements, deep breathing. While running is, well, not any of those. Unbeknown to many is the harmony in the body created by the combination of these two exercise forms.

These two forms have the same important elements, which aren’t that obvious except to one who has done both.

Look at the key elements of running and Yoga. Both forms of exercise have:

-Flexibility

-Breathing techniques

-Discipline

-Concentration

-Practice

Yoga improves a runner’s functioning, and more. It ushers in a crucial angle to the athletes’ training routines. From among Yoga’s numerous benefits to the body, runners gain improved accuracy and precision. This prevents their acquiring any harmful effects from their running activity.

The benefits to a runner’s body from yoga have been proven. For instance, a one-mile run is equated to one foot striking the ground one thousand times. In addition, the hips and lower limbs get to absorb the runner’s weight three to four times more while running. This can become the source of body stiffness, injury and pain, commonly experienced by many runners.

But these harmful experiences in the runner’s body are not automatic outcomes of running. Health experts say that these injurious reactions occur because heavy running puts the body out of balance. Which will be prevented if runners incorporate Yoga into their training because Yoga corrects the body posture which then will provide balance to the body.

Research has shown that long-term intense running develops a tightening and reduction of the athletes’ muscles. That is a natural consequence to the muscles applied to the same moves day in and day out. Soon, the energy expended by the muscles on the same moves develop into pain and possibly, injury, as well. The rest of the body reacts and tries to compensate for the imbalance by stressing on the other joints and muscles.

An important consideration for everyone is the knowledge of the linkage and correlation of all the systems of the body. An unusual action of some parts results in pain or injury to other parts. Shin splints, a usual injury experienced by runners, for instance, results from the improper distribution of weight on the legs during the running activity.

In this aspect, Yoga comes in for runners’ assistance. The concentration of Yoga postures on muscle extensions and relaxation gradually diminishes further incidence of pain or injury.

Currently there is a popular program created for runners that incorporates yoga to their training. This new training now involves not just strengthening and massaging the muscles used in running but also relaxation and meditation. This new development has converted runners’ training from endless exertion of muscles to breathing techniques, muscle extensions and stress-alleviation actions and postures.

It is created to stretch hamstrings and calf muscles and minimize aches and injuries resulting from running. At the same time, it toughens the back, core and arm muscles and helps in correcting postural misalignment. Thus, optimal running performance is developed.

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